Did the Pay Czar Whiff?
October 24, 2009
I think Joe Nocera is being uncharitable here: In other words, much of Wall Street has already moved to better align pay with longer-term performance. Firms have decreased the cash component, and increased stock awards, with strings attached that force them to hold the stock for long periods of time. But that isn’t exactly keeping pay down, which — and let’s be honest here — is what most of the country really wants to see, given how the nation’s bankers helped put us at the brink of financial ruin. The executives affected by Mr. Feinberg’s ruling aren’t exactly going broke either.
Some Answers, More Questions, on Exec Pay
October 23, 2009
Yesterday I wondered about the long-term stock grants that pay czar Ken Feinberg is asking TARP recipients to give executives in lieu of cash salaries, which will fall sharply. The news reports said employees generally wouldn't be able to touch their stock grants for four years, but it wasn't clear if the employees would also forfeit their stock if they left sooner. For what it's worth, today's Wall Street Journal provides a little more detail on that question: The stock units, Mr.
The Pay Czar Strikes
October 22, 2009
So it really does sound like Ken Feinberg is on the right track. I like the idea of cutting cash salaries to under $500,000 for top executives and shifting compensation toward long-term stock grants, which the Journal says wouldn't be touch-able for at least four years (with the possible exception of companies that pay back their bailout money early). One question: What happens to the stock if the executive leaves the firm sooner? According to the Journal, Feinberg wants the long-term grants to start this year.
Kevin Jennings Is Not Roman Polanski
October 13, 2009
Recently, several conservatives have been lashing out at a favorite new target: Kevin Jennings, the Obama administration's openly gay "safe schools czar." Both Sean Hannity and Republican Congressman Steve King have called for Jennings to be fired or to resign. Their main beef? That Jennings didn't contact authorities when, as a high school teacher in Massachusetts in the 1980s, a male student confided in him about a sexual encounter with an older man.
The Pay Czar Is Making Sense
October 06, 2009
I was pretty dubious that Ken Feinberg, the administration pay czar, would have much effect on Wall Street compensation--even at the handful of TARP basket-cases (AIG, GM, BofA, Citi, etc.) where you'd expect the administration to have leverage. In weaker moments, I even imagined Feinberg as a kind of a fig leaf, whose very existence confirmed that the White House didn't think there was much to be done about executive pay.
Better Regulate Than Never
September 15, 2009
The national ideological tilt has shifted fast, away from libertarianism and toward broad support for interventions like the new federal "pay czar," who will oversee banker compensation for bailout recipients. Such a sudden and dramatic reversal suggests that ideology has not been moored to steady principles. Instead, we have grasped too quickly at ephemeral data points and permitted our worldview to be shaped by panic. In this haze of hyperbole, we have an obligation to discern the more modulated truth.
TNRtv: We Will Not Even Consider Legalizing Drugs
September 11, 2009
Alan Bersin, Obama’s “Border Czar,” rips apart arguments to legalize drugs in the U.S., suggesting that there is much more we can do to educate Americ
From The TNR Archive: Cass R. Sunstein
September 10, 2009
Harvard Law professor and TNR contributing editor Cass R. Sunstein was confirmed as the Obama adminisration's regulatory czar today when the Senate approved Sunstein's nomination by a vote of 57 to 40. And that gives us a very good reason to look back at some of the pieces Sunstein has written for TNR in his nearly two decade history with the magazine. Click here for the archive of Sunstein's TNR work. Below, you'll find just a taste: "The Visionary Minimalist: Toward A Theory Of Obama-ism," January 30, 2008.
Cool... But, Yes, Communist
September 10, 2009
He's tall, trim, with shaved head, a confident demeanor, wearing a dark turtleneck, kind 'a funny and Yale Law School. Cool. Co-o-o-l. Or maybe even wow! He's Van Jones, and he resigned on Saturday as what the White House called its "czar" for the environment. There are actually many czars at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in this administration, and I wonder why the historical resonance of the word doesn't just give the Obama crowd the creeps. Unless, of course, they want to govern like czars ... and czarinas. To be sure, Mr.
Today at TNR (September 10, 2009)
September 10, 2009
Washington Diarist: 'The New York Times Magazine' Has Given up on What Matters, by Leon Wieseltier Four Ways Obama's New Manufacturing Czar Can Actually Help Fix the Economy, by Howard Wiel Will Giving in to Olympia Snowe Ruin Health Care Reform? by Ed Kilgore Blanche Lincoln Will Lead One of the Most Powerful Environmental Committees? Say It Ain't So!